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Jekyll and Hyde “likely to disturb younger children”, Ofcom rules

Ofcom has ruled that the first episode of Jekyll and Hyde, the ITV Studios-produced teatime drama, was broadcast too early to be suitable for young children.

The regulator found that several scenes in the opening episode, broadcast at 6.30pm on Saturday October 25th, were “likely to frighten and disturb younger children”.

It had received over 500 complaints from the public at the time.

Ofcom highlighted six scenes that were a particular cause for concern – a man being attacked in a street as the programme opened, a girl trapped under a truck with Mr Hyde leaning over her, another scene featuring a monster called The Harbinger, a fight in an alley, a nightclub fight and a family attacked in their home at night.

ITV had argued it had provided a warning to viewers before the programme started and argued that most of the violence was “fantastical”, but Ofcom disagreed, calling the violent scenes “dark and menacing”.

Written by Charlie Higson, a subsequent episode of Jekyll and Hyde was postponed in the light of the Paris attacks and earlier this month it was dropped after one series.

The watchdog acknowledged the first episode “would have exceeded the expectations of viewers, and in particular parents and carers, at this time and on this channel” and ruled that ITV had breached a rule stating “children must be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them”.

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